IMAGINARY love proposals

By Dyson Mthawanji

Once upon a time, love proposals were a common thing among young people. Young men used to struggle to win the hearts of girls in their community. When a lady said yes to a man, it was after the man had ascended to higher mountains with sweat. It was not easy. But today things have turned upside down, people are falling in love and having sex without even the man proposing for love. Yes, it’s like men are putting a roof before the foundation and the wall. It is happening in town.

Following the coming of easy communication through social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook, young people are falling in love within minutes of knowing each other. With a simple greeting on Whats- App or Facebook, young people fall in love and engage in sex in the next hour, it is happening in town.

Nowadays, when most men get a phone number from a woman, it is like proposing love. By sending a simple invitation for dinner to a stranger, young people end up having sex afterwards. The sleepovers are happening even when the man and woman are not formally in love. It is happening in town.

“I asked a girl out to dinner and she said yes. To me that was a yes to my silent love proposal. We went to the City Centre [Lilongwe] for dinner. Then we went straight to my home where she slept. We had sex,” said John (not his real name) from Area 36, a sprawling township in Lilongwe.

He said that was the beginning of their love affair. Unfortunately, this union did not take long as the lady ended the relationship when she realised that the man later did the same with another young woman.

But why do men choose to skip the proposing stage and choose to directly jump into the love affair? Most of the men say they are afraid of commitments.

“I think we can all agree that proposals are intensely emotional experiences, because choosing to spend the rest of your life with one person is a big deal. When you openly propose for a love affair, it’s like you are putting forward your life commitment to that particular person. Therefore, it is better to play hide and seek games,” said another man from Blantyre.

He said it is always so nervous to directly propose. He just lets the relationship start automatically.

But such an approach to love has some disadvantages. The formal love proposal shows elements of interest from the man that he really wants to fall in love with a particular woman. If the two start sleeping together without a visible love proposal, the man has all the powers to drop the woman by saying they were not in love but just friends of some benefits.

“I dated a certain guy without knowing I was dating myself [laughing]. We started cohabiting even though he had not directly proposed love to me. Later he started a new love affair with another girl from his workplace.

“When I asked him, he said that he was not in love with me. I shed tears and regretted it because he was my only hope for marriage. I had to start all over again,” said Mercy Kiliyoni Jere from Blantyre.

It is important that young people should be careful when falling in love. Imaginary love proposals are dangerous as one regrets later after being dumped for no apparent reason.